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boehner. i'm not sure that i see it yet. the president said you have to go to the clinton area, 36% top marginal rate. and you said a few loopholes that's fine but not the real battle we should be undertaking. am i correct? >> now boehner we're back to% where we were before the election in some respects. there is a significant core of the republican party that simply will not raise taxes under any sixths. they will not raise rates. they still feel that they are pledged to grover norquist, maybe not to the american people. not to the constitution, but to grover norquist. therefore they're not going to go along--even if boehner wants them to go along. both sides the president and democrats on one side, boehner and the republicans are basically maneuvering for bargaining position for what is going to be a long-term negotiation. >> eliot: they're just shadow boxing, i think that's exactly right. i wonder and i'm trying to assess--i have no knowledge of what goes on inside the republican party but i'm trying to discern if boehner has more strength now than he did when this negotiation took p
the president had with house speaker boehner a year ago in the summer that you talked about putting social security and medicare on the table but this is a different tile. he's got an election behind him. he's got a majority now looking for a very different course. all of the polls show the overwhelming majority of americans, includion republicans do not want social security and medicare cut in order to deal with deficits, and so i think the president's got the high ground. i think he's going to see a mobilization of his own base, the entire base of the democratic party mobilize to say don't touch medicaid, don't touch medicare and social security, raise taxes on the rich, and protect the vulnerable, and he's going to face a lot of his own people if he goes a different way. >> so, let's talk about taxes for a second. i don't know why we're having a discussion with republicans on attaches either. if we let the tax cuts expire and reinstitute the middle class tax cuts, which would be a guarantee, because every politician agrees, we would get $1 trillion. in the so-called grand bargain presid
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